I recently bought a brand new mtb. and they said the chain was lubed with Muc off dry lube. My local mechanic said it was OK to use the Pedro's that I have over it. Is it OK to use different lubes since they are made from different materials? In the past when I have gotten a new chain I would soak it in degreaser before I put the Pedro's on. Is that necessary? Should I just stick with the muc off and not mix brands?

2 Answers 2


When you get a new chain, do not clean it. Chains are manufactured with a factory lube that does a much better job than anything you can apply to them. If you are going to be riding in very wet conditions, apply a wet lube to the chain without cleaning it, if the bike is to be used in clean dry conditions, the factory lube will be better than what you have for the first couple of hundred km or so. (https://www.sheldonbrown.com/chains.html#factory)

I personally would not hesitate to use a different lube of the same type (types being dry and wet). There's a good chance its the same stuff with a different brand name (maybe different ratios, PTFE is PTFE no matter what color the bottle is). However, lubing bike chains is a religion more than a science, and some will say swapping brands is sacrilege.

If I swap from dry to wet lube, I don't clean the chain unless it is dirty. Swapping back I clean the chain before applying a dry lube. Reason is you wet lube when you want something sticky that stays on the chain, you get a chain that's wet lubed. If you dry lube onto a chain that is wet lube, you still have a chain that is wet lubed. (Some dry lubes are cleaners/lubes and great for relubing a dry lubed chain, especially on the fly. To get ride of wet lube and all the crud, you use so much of these cleaner/lubes its best to clean with a cleaner then lube)

By far the main thing is to clean dirty chains and apply lube. If you do that, you are 95% of the way there. The religion about how often, what type, how much and what brand is the last 5%.

  • 1
    The factory lube is TERRIBLE - even from the start. It increases drivetrain friction and has a huge wear rate: zerofrictioncycling.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/…
    – Andy P
    Aug 5, 2022 at 7:35
  • @AndyP is correct that the factory lube is relatively high friction, and it also tends to accumulate dirt better than many other lubes. However, drivetrain manufacturers still tend to advise people not to strip it off…
    – Weiwen Ng
    Aug 5, 2022 at 13:22
  • 1
    There seems to be two types of factory lube. One is a highly effective lubricant, and the other is a very ineffective (as a lube) anti-rust packing grease type thing.
    – MaplePanda
    Aug 5, 2022 at 15:15
  • @MaplePanda the first exists within the minds of the marketing department and the second is what arrives at the customer.
    – Andy P
    Aug 5, 2022 at 16:33
  • Thanks for the advise. I have Pedro's dry lube. I live in California and mostly ride in the dry months. The Pedro's Ice wax dry lube seems to clean the chain as well. I will say that whatever is on there does seem to pick up a lot of dust. I have only had three rides on it so far. Aug 5, 2022 at 18:28

I'll offer a more complex version of mattnz's answer.

If you were using a wet lube, it should generally be fine to mix different lubes. While more advanced users might not need to remove the factory lube before using a wet lube, it should be beneficial to do so. Wet lubes should generally have an oil base plus friction modifiers (e.g. PTFE). After enough time, the new lube should displace the old lube.

Adam Kerin of Zero Friction Cycling has tested applying a good wet lube on top of the factory lube. It actually appears to work well. Chain manufacturers typically advise users not to remove the factory lube, and indeed that they can just use that lube or add their usual lube on top. I think this may be targeted at cyclists who are not technically oriented. There is nothing wrong with being in this category. More technically-oriented cyclists may wish to remove all the factory lube before using a wet lube.

Many dry lubes have a wax base. Waxes are hydrocarbons like oil, but the hydrocarbon chains are longer, and thus they're solid at room temperature. They will still offer lubrication inside a chain, but a good wax lube should set to a solid and prevent contamination from entering into a chain's rollers. The issue is that there are some known good wax lubes, but there are some that may not be as good. If you are willing to do a lot of reading, Adam Kerin has extensive empirical testing for a number of lubes. He has rated a number of Muc Off's other lubes poorly.

His stance is that it's fine to mix the good drip wax lubes. These include, at minimum, Squirt, Smoove, Silca's drip wax, and Tru Tension Tungsten All Weather. He has not rated Pedro's wax lube. I don't know why Muc Off's lubes test poorly.

In general, wax lubes should not respond to traditional degreasers as strongly as traditional dry lubes. This is because they are solid. The four wax lubes I mentioned, plus probably others, can likely be removed by swishing the chain in boiling water (NB: do not shake the chain in boiling water in a closed container, as you will have a steam explosion afterward). I'm not certain that this applies to absolutely all dry lubes. Ceramicspeed advertises that their degreaser is designed to attack waxes as well as wet lubes, and Silca's new degreaser may have similar properties. I'm not aware of other degreasers that are designed to attack wax lubes.

Thus, you could just apply Pedro's over the Muc Off. If the new lube seems not to be working as normal (e.g. it seems like it's not adhering to the chain, or the chain gets dirtier or squeaky faster than normal), you could consider trying the boiling water solution. Note that it may take a couple rinses in boiling water. Failing that, you might try the Ceramicspeed, Silca, or similar degreaser if you can find one.

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